Whodunnit: Which college football coach allegedly gave Oregon inside info on Deion Sanders and Colorado?

Whodunnit: Which college football coach allegedly gave Oregon inside info on Deion Sanders and Colorado?

There’s some foul play afoot in the coaching world if Keyshawn Johnson is to be believed. Over the weekend, Oregon beat Colorado thoroughly. It was like a high schooler walloping on a fifth grader, and on Monday, The Undisputed talking head said Ducks coach Dan Lanning had outside help from coaches jealous of Deion Sanders’ spotlight and eager to put an end to the family infomercial.

The former New York Jet receiver went full Coach Prime apologist, and I could aggregate what Skip Bayless alleged because it’s more salacious, but what I’m going to do is more fun and doesn’t involve aggregating Skip Bayless.

“This is his (Deion Sanders) first year at the Power Five level. This is his first year. They’re 3-1. We can’t sit up here and act like it’s all doomed. It’s over with. They’ll never win another game. That’s not true. They played against an Oregon team that is better. A better football team,” Johnson said. “You (Skip Bayless) were talking about the jealousy in these coaches, in Deion and the way these guys got here. It’s interesting you said that. I didn’t want to interrupt you, I wanted to let you finish.

“So I spoke to somebody in the coaching fraternity right after the game. They know some people that coach at Oregon. They was telling me, they said, ‘Man, I’ve never heard from another assistant coach of how much information was being given to that staff about,’ — I’m just, I’m just being real with it — ‘about game-planning against Colorado, so they can beat them.’ Everybody was stacked. That’s the reality. I ain’t making this up. I ain’t going to disclose no names, but y’all know who I’m talking about, if y’all was watching. You know.”

Wow. Those are heavy accusations. Never mind that the Buffs’ have only beaten one (terrible) team handedly, or even with the CliffsNotes, Shedeur, Shilo, and Co. were still supremely overmatched.

That said, let’s assume Johnson’s anonymous source exists, and look at who could be the rat. Having watched pieces of every Colorado game this season, and A Haunting In Venice over the weekend, I’m exquisitely qualified to carry out this investigation.

So, as Agatha Christie’s acclaimed detective would do, let’s make some lists. Between Sonny Dykes, Matt Rhule, and Jay Norvell, we have a murderer’s row of contenders, and I’m not talking about a list of potential replacements in Boulder when Coach Prime follows Shedeur to the NFL.

Each suspect had a reason to betray the code of the coaching fraternity, and all were somehow slighted by the Buffs…

Sonny Dykes

The Horned Frogs were in the College Football Playoff final a year ago, and the follow-up campaign was ended Week 1 by Coach Prime. However, after the game, Dykes seemed more perturbed about his defense than Colorado, and openly blamed himself for the team coming out “flat.”

Some people may be fooled by Dykes’ aww-shucks accent, pudgy frame, and ebullient demeanor, but not me. Of these three suspects, Dykes had the most to lose, because he has the most talented roster of the three, and expectations to go along with it.

The Hypno Toads were the Cinderella story of college football last year, but Coach Prime quickly co-opted that underdog mentality, and flipped it on them. While Dykes comes off as a hangry-yet-cuddly panda when provoked, he’s a fierce competitor, and is definitely the smartest of the three choices.

Does that mean he did it? I’ve seen a panda kill a man.

Matt Rhule

The first-year Cornhusker coach got socked in the gut by the Buffs on the field, and then had his face shoved in it afterward. Shedeur called out Rhule for letting Husker players congregate on the midfield Buffalo, but Rhule said his team was simply praying, and it’s just like a Nebraskan to hide behind religion and Big and Tall shirts.

I don’t know when either of these schools ever gave each other the benefit of the doubt in this rivalry, and Rhule was mistaken if he thought his brief time in the NFL merited respect from opposing coaches and their offspring. He’ll learn quickly that programs love to pummel the Huskers, and their parade of overpaid coaches.

It’s possible that Rhule was set off by any number of shots taken after the game, and passed along “tips.” Yet I doubt Lanning would’ve needed — or used — his intel. Kind of like when the Trump boys sold top secret documents to Russia, but it was just a briefcase full of Burger King receipts.

Jay Norvell

Perhaps it was the most obvious choice. Colorado State coach Jay Norvell openly feuded with Sanders during game week, and then was minutes away from the upset before scared coaching allowed the game to go to overtime. He came closer to stealing the Buff’s thunder than the other two candidates, and held the Colorado offense in check until the fourth quarter and extra periods.

Colorado and Colorado State hate each other, and it was on display all week and during the game. Travis Hunter got relegated to Twitch after a personal foul, and he might be the team’s most important player. That CSU player, and his family received death threats in the wake of the late hit, but that’s a motive for a different crime, and one too overt for Hercule Cor-soit’s level of detection.

Back to the case at hand. Norvell went out of his way to take a shot at Deion’s signature sunglasses, and likely boosted sales in the process. Seems to me there is some collusion between coaches, but the correspondence is in-state. I suspect should someone check Norvell’s bank account — or that of a close family member — they’ll find a recent deposit from Blenders Eyewear, the company that makes the Prime 21 glasses.

The verdict

Oregon and Dan Lanning needed no such intel, and the beatdown was a long way coming. The Ducks were disrespected all week, came out like a hungry top-10 team, and played like it. As to the mystery of why the game was so lopsided, the Ducks had seven sacks, seven tackles for loss, and lived in the Colorado backfield, and thus Shedeur’s lap. Oregon also had 240 on the ground at 6.3 per carry as a team. Line play isn’t always a sexy answer, but it’s often the correct answer.

So, no, there weren’t any co-conspirators; people are just mad that Lanning upstaged the showman, and embarrassed the Buffaloes on top of beating the snot out of them. 

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.